Holiday Muffins At the Top of the Baking List


Baking is like many things – you have to stick to it and keep trying after you have a fail. Giving up because you’ve had a flop will keep you from making progress, and even learning lessons along the way. You’re seeing this recipe today after three previous attempts to post! It’s been frustrating, but hopefully someone will be really glad to have this recipe, or will be refreshed by the encouragement not to give up!

Since tomorrow is December the first (what?!), I thought I would share a holiday muffin recipe as my first recipe of the season. I made some Cranberry Streusel Muffins for Thanksgiving breakfast last week. It was a new recipe to me and I couldn’t wait to try them!  These were the perfect blend of tart and sweet. The crumbly topping on the top is oh, so good! We had a muffin with a bowl of hot oatmeal and cups of coffee, and it was a fantastic breakfast!  Here’s the recipe:

Cranberry Streusel Muffins

1/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

3 Tbl. butter, softened

1/3 cup chopped pecans

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped

1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla

1 large egg

Cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/4 cup flour in small bowl; add softened butter, rubbing with fingers until crumbly.  Stir in pecans.  Cover and chill.
  2. Combine granulated sugar, next 3 ingredients, and remaining 2 cups flour in large bowl.  Stir in cranberries,.  Make a well in center of mixture.  Whisk together buttermilk and next 3 ingredients; add to dry mixture, stirring until just moistened.
  3. Lightly grease with cooking spray (or line with paper liners) a 12-cup muffin tin, filling 3/4 full.  Sprinkle with streusel mixture, pressing gently to adhere.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes.  Transfer muffins to wire rack.  Serve warm.

If you are having a December brunch, are hosting Christmas breakfast, or even just have extra cranberries left over from Thanksgiving, you need to put this recipe on your menu.  It will deliver smiles and happy sighs to your breakfast table!

Has anyone else had a situation recently that demanded patience and a re-do?

Anyone else baking for the holidays yet?  I’d love to hear what you’re making!

With love from my country kitchen,



What’s Cookin’ in the Country?

I like to make life as easy as possible by doing anything/everything as much ahead of time as possible.  That’s especially true when it comes to simplifying my morning routine.  When I recently found a recipe in Relish Magazine for muffin batter that could be frozen, I knew I had to try it!  The result?  A delicious muffin that was in the oven first thing in the morning and ready to eat in 20 minutes! No mess, no fuss, just hot, fluffy muffins, better than any Toaster Strudel or Pop Tart!  This is a great way to simplify the day AND start the day!

You could add any kind of mix-in that you’d like.  I made half Chocolate Chip and half Blueberry.  You could use strawberries, nuts, blackberries,  dried Cranberries, or a number of other choices!

Mix up the batter and divide it in half.

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Toss a tablespoon of flour in with the mix-in so it won’t sink to the bottom of the muffin.  

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Fold in the added ingredient…

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Pour into muffin tins, lined with paper liners, then place muffin tin in the freezer.

Freeze batter for several hours or overnight.

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Place frozen muffin batter into freezer bags and store in freezer until needed.

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Place as many as you need in a muffin pan and bake in 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes
or until  golden.

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Relish Magazine’s photo

Here’s the recipe for the batter:

3 cups flour

1 Tbl baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

10 Tbl butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt (I used sour cream)

1 cup blueberries or chocolate chip or other add in of choice

I added a couple tablespoons of Orange zest and loved the flavor it gave both of the muffins!


  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Place butter in a mixing bowl and beat until creamy using an electric mixer. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture and buttermilk and yogurt alternately to egg mixture, beginning and ending with four mixture. Beat until just combined. Fold in blueberries.
  2. Grease 18 muffin cups. Spoon batter into muffin cups until about two-thirds full. Cover muffin tins with plastic wrap and place in freezer for at least 6 hours. Then remove frozen batter from the tins, place in a ziptop plastic bag, and store in the freezer until needed.
  3. To bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place liners in muffin tins. Place frozen muffin ” pucks” in the lined tins. Or cut 7-inch squares out of parchment. Center each square over a muffin cup and push the frozen muffin firmly into the cup, allowing the paper to fold up above it. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and the tops spring back when pressed.  Makes 18

Whenever I have oranges, before I peel them, I zest the rind and place it into a small Ziploc bag and put it in the freezer to use in baking.  You get double use from the oranges that way!

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How’s that for simplifying your morning routine?!  

What do you do to simplify the morning?

With love from my country kitchen,


Bread · breakfast

What’s Cookin’ in the Country?


Remember Dr. Seuss?  Here’s my likeness to his stories…

I love bread.
Sweet bread, crunchy bread, corn bread or French bread.  

I love bread.  
Homemade or Bakery bought,
High and low I have sought because
I love bread.

This was the reason I named my baking business I had for several years, Breads on Boone.  I love baking, eating, learning about, and trying to make new breads!  This weekend I even purchased a huge bowl because the recent bread recipes I’ve made are too much dough for my mixing bowl and it’s spilling out!  Do you remember the I Love Lucy episode where her dough is rising all over her kitchen?  Yeah, that’s kind of how I’ve felt recently!  I can’t wait to test another recipe in the new big guy (bowl)!

I’m thankful for cookbooks like Cooking Light that allow me to indulge without as much guilt!  I recently tried a new Banana Nut Muffin recipe from Cooking Light that was so moist and full of that wonderful Banana flavor!  The Streusel topping adds a nice little sweetness and crunch.  These are a great beginning to my bread-loving days!  When I made them I knew I couldn’t keep this recipe to myself, that I needed to share it with you!  

Banana Nut Muffins:


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
3/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
6 tablespoons regular oats
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375°.

To prepare the muffins, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine banana and next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a bowl; stir well. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened; fold in walnuts. Place 12 muffin cup liners in muffin cups. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups.

To prepare streusel, combine oats and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Blend with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel over batter. Bake at 375° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

I paired my muffin with a bowl of oatmeal and it was a great breakfast!  


I love to make up a batch of muffins and either share half with someone, or put half in the freezer for an easy breakfast in the days ahead.  These freeze great, by the way!

Do you enjoy making breads?  I hope you’ll try these!  You could celebrate this new month of March by baking up a batch!  I know I say to bake something for every holiday, event or day of the year, but why not?  These are “light” and God gives us richly all things to enjoy!  Sooo, Enjoy!

With love from my country kitchen,